It seems like social media is changing faster than we can keep up with it. New tools come out. People flock to new services. It can be a lot to take on, especially when you’re busy. Let us save you the time by giving you the highlights of what you should expect of social media in 2012.
Many have called Google + the “Facebook Killer.” We don’t see that happening in 2012. With under 100 million users, Google + will take a while to catch up with Facebook, which has about 800 million global users.
That being said, don’t write off Google +. More people are using it each day, and the more channels you use to connect with potential customers, the more customers you’ll connect with. Focus the bulk of your efforts where they make sense. For now, that might continue to be Facebook. But maintain a presence on Google + as well.
It’s Still All About Value
The people with the most followers, likes or shares are still those who provide useful information. Links to relevant blog posts, thought-provoking questions, engaging in conversation…these will still be the keys to your customers’ hearts in 2012.
Work to provide a mix of different types of tweets and status updates. Look to start and join in conversations. Get away from the autobot style of simply retweeting others’ content and come up with your own.
Really Useful Tools are Slowing Down
Last year, it seemed that every day there was a new tool guaranteed to make you more productive on social media! But we’re seeing fewer of those, and the ones that really do work are sticking around.
Play around with HootSuite, Seesmic and others to see which ones make the most sense to help you and your organization manage multiple social media accounts. Most are free, though you may find value in paid accounts so that more than one team member can manage the same social accounts.
You’re Not Too Late
Just now joining the social media game? Don’t feel too bad. While many companies have been slow to jump on the bandwagon, now is a great time to get started. Whether you have your marketing team manage your social media, outsource it to a social media firm, or bring in a consultant to train your team, there are ample resources to help you.
Ramp up your knowledge by reading social media blogs, attending webinars and going to conferences. And never stop learning. Because this is such an ever-changing industry, you’ll constantly find new ways to use social media to reach your customers.
Photo credit: kdonovan_gaddy